VASJ is primed for the postseason and the Vikings will enter the Division II district tournament at Brush as co-champions of the NCL White Division.
VASJ avenged a season-opening loss to St. Thomas Aquinas with a sweep of the Knights at Viking Village on Oct. 3. The win helped the Vikings share the conference crown with St. Thomas Aquinas, both finishing with a 7-1 league record.
“It was nice to get a piece of the league title and to be playing well at the end of the season,” VASJ coach Mark Royer said. “The first time we played Aquinas we weren’t the same team as we are now and it was important for the girls to play better and to play our game and get the win.”
VASJ now must shift its focus away from the regular season and prepare for the Division II district tournament at Brush where the Vikings are the No. 2 seed and open in a sectional final on Oct. 21 vs.Laurel at noon. Laurel swept St. Martin de Porres in the sectional semis to advance.
A win over Laurel could potentially set up a headliner match against Beaumont in the district semifinals for VASJ. The No 3 seed Blue Streaks defeated the Vikings earlier this season.
On the top half of the bracket is top-seeded Gilmour, who VASJ pushed to five games before losing at Viking Village in September. The Lancers were a final four team in Division III in 2016.
“We figured we would have to go through one or both of them (Gilmour and Beaumont) to get out of the district and achieve our goals,” Royer said. “Both handed us losses this year, but I think the girls are confident having played them that they know what they do well and what we need to do better to turn things around.”
Becca Korosek, Bobbi Rempe, Christian Wilson, Sophia Tromba and Reilly Seagroves are just a few of the Vikings who have helped put the team in position to challenge for the district championship after already having earned a piece of the NCL White crown.
Royer said he thinks the tweaks to the lineup and all the fine-tuning throughout the season have been effective and give VASJ a chance at postseason success.
“We scout teams in the tournament to see what their tendencies are and hopefully that gives us a greater chance at winning,” Royer said. “This group has worked hard this season and I wouldn’t put anything past them when we execute our game.”